Tennessee Attorney General Elections Amendment (2014)

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Not on Ballot
Proposed allot measures that were not on a ballot
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The Tennessee Attorney General Elections Amendment was not on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Tennessee as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have required voters to elect the Tennessee Attorney General, rather than having the position filled by a Supreme Court appointment.[1]


Sen. Dewayne Bunch argued that while the current practice of having the state supreme court take responsibility for hiring the attorney general made sense when justices were elected, it no longer applied. Since supreme court justices are appointed by the governor, argued Bunch, there is a lack of accountability for the attorney general. "The citizens now have no accountability for the Supreme Court, and thus there is no accountability for the attorney general," said Bunch.[1]


Sen. Doug Overbey, an opponent of the proposed amendment, said, "We may be the only state in the Union that does it this way. We may be the only state in the Union that does it right," in regards to the current appointment practice. The attorney general, argued Overbey, should not be raising campaign funds and instead should be concentrating on the job.[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Legislatively-referred constitutional amendments in Tennessee

The Tennessee General Assembly was required to approve the proposed amendment in two successive sessions. In the second such session, the proposed amendment needed to earn 2/3rds approval. However, in the first session, it only required majority approval. During the first session, the Senate voted 19 to 14 in favor of placing the measure on the ballot.[2] During the second session, however, the Senate voted the measure down. Therefore, the proposed amendment did not appear on the ballot.[3]

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